Coffee has a naturally complex botanical profile, with at least 1,000 natural compounds in the bean (including caffeine) and another 300 created in the roasting process. Scientists have linked a number of them, including some strong antioxidants, with a host of physiological benefits.
Research has shown that moderate coffee consumption (or 3-5 cups daily) may be associated with many positive effects, including:
- Liver disease prevention
- Improved cognitive function in older adults
- Sharper memory
- Increased athletic endurance
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
Due to the increasing scientific evidence, coffee has earned a new – and improved – reputation. The latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines recently made an unprecedented recommendation for coffee as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The Caffeine Buzz
Many of these potential benefits are associated with caffeine, a naturally occurring stimulant found in coffee beans. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can vary, depending on factors ranging from the type of bean to how it's brewed.
Caffeinated coffee affects individuals differently, based on heredity, body weight, gender, metabolism (there are “fast caffeine metabolizers” versus slow ones), and coffee drinking habits.
While coffee has come to be closely associated with caffeine, today consumers can choose from a variety of caffeinated and decaffeinated options.